Physical rehabilitation for Parkinson’s disease: assessment and treatment preferences of physical therapists
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Riphah College of Rehabilitation and Allied Health Sciences, Riphah International University, Lahore Campus, Lahore Pakistan
Pakistan Society of the Rehabilitation of the Disabled (PSRD), Lahore, Pakistan
Submission date: 2022-04-14
Acceptance date: 2022-06-06
Publication date: 2023-12-19
Physiother Quart. 2023;31(4):70-80
Patients with Parkinson’s disease are often prescribed physical therapy. Physiotherapists often assist Parkinson’s disease patients with assessment and treatment, but little is known about the assessment tools and interventions they use. Additionally, physical therapists do not consistently integrate standard outcome measures and treatment procedures into their practices. Consequently, this study was carried out to determine physical therapists’ preferences for assessment and treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Five hundred questionnaires were distributed to physiotherapists working in clinical settings. Overall, 446 physiotherapists responded to the survey and returned the questionnaires. Questionnaires with incomplete information were excluded from the survey. In total, 418 physiotherapists participated in the study, of whom 324 saw PD patients in their clinical practice.

Overall, 446 physiotherapists responded to the survey and returned the questionnaires. Questionnaires with incomplete information were excluded from the survey. In total, 418 physiotherapists participated in the study, of whom 324 saw PD patients in their clinical practice. Study participants included 43.8% male PTs and 56.2% female PTs with an average age of 30.02 ± 5.38 years. The Berg balance scale for balance assessment was preferred by 220 (67.9%), the Mini Mental State Examination for cognitive assessment was preferred by 317 (97.8%), and the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale was preferred by 168 (51.85%) PTs. Neurological PTs employed PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) to decrease stiffness, and exercise and task-focused training for functional training. Virtual Reality and Motor Imagery were also known by 56.6% and 62.4% of PTs, respectively, although only 4.8% and 1.85% used them.

Study results revealed that most physiotherapists follow routine assessment and treatment protocols and do not implement innovative technology in the physical rehabilitation of patients with Parkinson’s disease.

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